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    Tree on Leatherhead line.

    Reports on NRE that a tree is blocking the line south of Leatherhead. Given that it has been calm for a couple of days, does anyone happen to know the cause? Of course, trees can fall at any time if they are dead, but it seems odd for one to come down in such benign conditions. The report...
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    Guildford To Leatherhead And Return ECS Workings

    Today there are two return ECS workings from Guildford to Leatherhead via Bookham; 5Z42 and 5Z43. Does anyone know the purpose of these, please - my guess is driver training?
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    Will traffic levels recover in the Croydon area to make improvement scheme worthwhile?

    Moderator note: split from Has the business case for the entire scheme been reviewed in the light of current and future traffic levels? I wonder if traffic will ever return to close to the pre-C19 levels, given...
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    North Downs Line Engineering

    Last night (around 0100 today, actually) an engineering train was working opposite my house near Betchworth. I saw the train across the valley bathed in floodlights and making a racket with a constant roar and a rhythmic, very loud 'creaking' noise. My immediate assumption was that it was...
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    If BA leaves Gatwick, could this be the end of GTR's 'Gatwick Express' route?

    Moderator note: Split from If GatwickAirport's air traffic declines permanently as much as many predict, the need for a dedicated service may disappear. This also applies to routes like the North...
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    Guildford Engineering Works

    The Guildford area has been largely devoid of trains all week and remains so until Monday, with engineering works underway. Does anyone know what is being done? With lock-down, my local line at Betchworth is effectively closed, making the whole area exceptionally quiet.
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    Class 91s to 'top and tail' 7 coaches? (Update: there are no plans to do this)

    April's edition of 'The Railway Magazine' carries a short item about a proposal to use pairs of class 91s to 'top and tail' formations of seven mark 4 coaches on the ECML. With both locos powering (which is the plan), this would give a staggering 12,960hp for a seven car train! This surely...
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    Trivia - Highest Power to Weight Ratio

    There is at least one GWR HST short-formation ('Castle' class, apparently) which has three trailers as its current set formation. As both power cars are normally used in service, this gives 4500hp for three coaches. Is this the highest ratio of any 'normal' unit in UK service, either now or ever?
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    Landslip Between Dorking And Holmwood

    Another landslip has closed the Dorking to Horsham line completely until at least Thursday 20 February. NRE tells me that the incident, at Betchworth Tunnel, is "just west of Holmwood Station". In reality it is just south of Dorking station, and about four miles north of Holmwood station!
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    'Trespass and Welfare Officers'

    I have noticed several stations lately where staff wearing head-to-toe orange clothing have been patrolling platforms, wearing white tabards bearing the legend 'Trespass and Welfare Officer'. Most recently, I was at Basingstoke (yesterday) and there was one on each platform, walking along the...
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    Trivia - Longest Scheduled Working Without Catering?

    A friend recently travelled on the 1041 Great Malvern to Brighton (arr. 1613) working and asked me if it might be the UK's longest journey without on-board catering. Over to the hive brain...
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    External Destination Displays - Multiple Errors

    Today on my travels, I saw approximately 20 SWR trains which had either no, or completely wrong, external destination information. It is a strike day, but I can think of no reason why it would be hard or impossible to display normal destination information because of this. If anything, it's...
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    Landslip Near Epsom

    Couldn't see this anywhere else. The incident happened a couple of nights ago after very heavy rain. Only SWR is affected, with Southern running as usual. However, the SWR blurb put out strongly implies that Epsom is not being served by any trains at all, until the very end, when a quick...
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    TOC-Selective High Winds

    NRE has a specific weather warning about speed restrictions being imposed by NR on some SE routes from 0900 tomorrow. Given that the high winds are forecast across the whole of southern England, why has SE been singled out for this? The strongest gusts are actually forecast to be further SW...
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    'Light' engine HST

    I've seen a photo on 'Flickr' of a single HST power car running light from Heaton to Bounds Green. The shot shows it passing Arlesey. I can see no form of tail light whatsoever - what is the rule for this (exemption)?
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    Yet Another Engineering Train Failure

    The whole North Downs line has no trains this morning owing to the failure of an engineering train at Wokingham. Is it my imagination, or are these trains failing more and more often these days? The reliability seems well below par.
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    Engineering Train Derailment at London Victoria (09/07)

    Reports in the media that an engineering train has derailed just outside Victoria. Investigations will follow, but my immediate reaction was - "not another engineering derailment!" It appears (and it is only my perception) that the number of engineering train derailments/incidents is high...
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    GTR First Class Legal Loss

    I have read in 'Live Rail' (the magazine of the Southern Electric Group) that a passenger has won a legal case against GTR for 'mis-selling of a first class ticket'. His premise was that first class in GTR trains is not to a standard that warrants the description and fare of first class, being...
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    The Decline In Information Quality

    The quality of information continues to decline, with more and more basic written messages' errors simply going unchecked, even those which are permanently programmed-in, rather than hasty urgent messages. Some examples from the last week or so on my travels are attached. It's astounding how...
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    'Big Boy' Returns To Steam!

    I have seen nothing in the railway press about the fact that Union Pacific 'Big Boy' class 4-8-8-4 no. 4014 has returned to fully-restored main line use. It made a run over the famous Wasatch pass on 8 May (photo (not mine) here: - there are more on Flickr). I can't...